Froome back in saddle for Vuelta

Chris Froome will return to the Grand Tour schedule when he leads out Team Sky at the Vuelta a España after overcoming the hand and wrist injuries which forced him out of his defence of the Tour de France last month.

The 21-stage Tour begins this coming Saturday with a team time trial through Jerez de la Frontera.

Froome had to retire from the Tour de France after only five stages following three heavy crashes in two days and is keen to let fans know his victory last year was no flash in the pan.

“You can’t dwell on disappointment, you have to move on quickly to the next thing and the Vuelta has become the perfect race for me to focus on.”

Froome’s breakthrough on the Grand Tour stage came at the Vuelta when he finished second back in 2011.

Froome expects the toughest of competition from his rivals, if he is to win the Vuelta for the first time, as Colombian Nairo Quintana will be quietly confident after winning the Giro d’Italia earlier this year. Quintana made his Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta in 2012 in his maiden year on the European tour when he was one of Alejandro Valverde’s climbing domestiques. Quintana finished 36th overall and will be looking for outright victory or at the least a podium place. Two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has also overcome injury to take part.

“I know that the level of competition will be incredibly high this year, but we’ve got a strong line up so we hope to be as competitive as possible.”

“Chris Froome will be our team leader and it’s great to have him back on the bike and focused on the challenge ahead,” said Sky Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford.

Sir Bradley Wiggins, the Tour de France winner in 2012, will not be competing in Spain as he defends his Tour of Britain title.

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